There are some updates on the fish hatchery situation:
1. There is a Facebook page created to help save our hatchery. Click here to view the link. Make sure if you have a Facebook account, you “like” the page.
2. A flyer has been created to help you contact the Fish & Wildlife Commissioners with your concerns about this issue. Click here to view the flyer.
3. Information was obtained today that suggests the lease will be for 70 years!!!! We guess not many people who are reading this will be around to see the lease end.
4. Below is a copy of the letter submitted to the Commision on behalf of the city council. Six council members signed the below letter:“Philip Anderson, Director Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife 600 Capitol Way N. Olympia, WA 98501-1091
Dear Mr. Anderson,
As members of the Puyallup City Council, we are writing to strenuously object to the proposed lease of the Puyallup Trout Hatchery to a private business.
In a letter dated May 15, 2012 to Senators Swecker and Kastama, you stated that the Department of Fish and Wildlife is “open to discussions with other organizations … for partnerships or collaborations that could be mutually beneficial.” We can think of no partnership that would be of greater mutual benefit to the State and the citizens of Puyallup than one involving not a private, for-profit business, but rather one comprised of partners who are already seriously and deeply committed to the Puyallup Trout Hatchery and its continued operation and success, namely: WDFW, the City of Puyallup, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, the Puyallup School District and Washington State University Extension.
It cannot be denied that such a partnership would achieve a much greater range and depth of benefits and returns to our community. If, in collaboration with such a partnership, the Department of Fish and Wildlife is able to achieve its desired goals to the same extent it would by contracting with a private company, it must be recognized that the described partnership would have the clear and significant advantage of community support and commitment.
You are correct that the Puyallup Trout Hatchery has tremendous value to our residents. Since 1947, generations of Puyallup-area families have enjoyed its various recreational and educational benefits. The hatchery remains a favorite park-like destination for many, and is a continuing and important source of volunteer opportunities that have provided many citizens, including special-needs students, with the chance to make a difference while learning about fish populations, watersheds, and what all of us as ordinary citizens can do to help protect our natural resources.
In our opinion, any possible benefits of leasing the Puyallup Trout Hatchery to a private business would be far outweighed by substantial negative consequences. For example, current hatchery operations may already be contributing to water quality problems in Clarks Creek. Clarks Creek is a critical spawning habitat for ESA-listed Puget Sound Chinook, and we are gravely concerned that any expansion of hatchery operations would exacerbate those impacts. The City of Puyallup has worked hard with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians and other groups to restore habitats and move fish populations towards rather than away from recovery, and we are confident you share these goals with us. We are not so confident that a private commercial enterprise would, however.
As elected officials, we understand budget requirements and restraints. We are not asking that the Department of Fish and Wildlife abdicate its very real fiscal responsibilities to the citizens of Washington State. Neither do we suppose that the State has sufficient operational and capital funding available to expand the function and services of the Puyallup Hatchery as envisioned by many hatchery proponents.
We also know that the prevailing interest of the WDFW is to be a careful steward of both the environment and the public facilities entrusted to it. At this time, it remains to be seen whether allowing the privatization and commercialization of this extremely valuable, publicly-owned asset would be in the best interest of all concerned.
In sum, we respectfully ask two things: that no lease for the Puyallup Trout Hatchery be approved until all possible options are submitted and reviewed, and that each alternative receives the careful consideration it deserves.